How to Improve Your Sales Efforts in Your Creative Agency
Read time: 4 minutes
The role of the Account Managers is largely responsible for the profitability of an account at your advertising agency or design firm. They are responsible for being the first point of contact with potential and future clients, and make the initial first impression of your firm on the client – an impression that can be permanent. They concentrate on all information regarding sales, costs and expenses and also can capture information between lines (e.g. interpreting the client’s goals, needs and concerns). It is through service that new business is created because they are the door to all projects and represent the whole agency to the client.
Here are some tips on how to improve your customer service/sales efforts in your agency.
1 – Take care of your image
You’ve heard that customer service/sales is the “face of the agency”, and this is actually true – the account managers aren’t kidding. A good product, or service, must be well presented. So remember the basics of business etiquette: appropriate business attire, good posture, clean-shaven and combed hair. Finally, don’t forget to smile!
2 – Communication is key – Both written and spoken
Certain details do make a difference when writing an email, for example how you use (correct) grammar, punctuation, capital letters, style, format and how you address the client (please, use the right tittle).
Have you ever received an email like this?
“HEY MS. SYKES,
the brochure is attached……sorry for the delay,
It doesn’t look appropriate, does it?
For calls, always try to be brief and objective, so the client will feel you are really interested in his/her project and focus on what really matters to them in this situation.
3 – Be on top of your deliverables
As account manager, you have been through this situation: The client is calling and asking about the campaign that is due tomorrow and why you haven’t sent him any updates so far. He’s going crazy, and you as well.
You basically have two options: You can tell your team to rush, which can compromise the quality of final results and the client’s satisfaction. Or you can try to convince the client to extend the deadline, which is extremely hard in some cases and also comprise the client’s trust in your work.
My advice is: try to avoid this situation. Apply the “Scotty” principle. As the account manager it’s your responsibility to liaison with client and your team, so be flexible and assertive enough to handle different (and sometimes competing) needs/interests. Place a deadline one week earlier than the client is expecting, but don’t tell the creative and production teams. Doing that will give you a buffer in case something unpredictable happens. Finally, good project management software can help you track all deadlines and deliverables, bringing more productivity to your team. Therefore, make sure you have adopted software that fits your workflow.
4 – “Always” be available
Get to know your clients. One of the advantages of being the account manager is the ease with which you make contacts and build your network. Knowing your clients well improves your relationships with them and aligns your goals to their needs more precisely.
As the relationship with a client evolves, it may be normal for you to exchange personal contact details. Make yourself available to listen to your client’s needs and concerns during business hours, and be observant about the line between work/personal life. If he/she is calling on Sunday while you are watching a hockey game…well, then may be time to set some boundaries. Remember that every relationship is based on building trust, mutual goals and, finally, respect.
The image that you transmit and the effort in building good relationship with clients can be the decisive point between a profitable account and a lost one.
Hopefully this blog post will help you improve customer services and sales efforts in your agency!
Do you have any other suggestions on how you’ve improved your customer service and sales relationships at your firm? Please share your comments with us!